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Democrats don’t have anything resembling fresh blood in their ranks since President Obama was a newcomer. And so, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came onto the scene with a surprise upset win, she was rightly viewed as the next generation of Democratic leadership. Her last job before being elected to Congress? A bartender. And it’s moments like these that it shows:
Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacks Israel, calls them the occupiers of Palestine.
When pressed on what she meant she struggled to give an answer and then admitted she does not know what she is talking about. pic.twitter.com/e3Uq1eupD3
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 16, 2018
On “Firing Line,” Ocasio-Cortez flippantly refers to the Israeli “occupation.” When she does, host Margaret Hoover, to her credit, asks her to explain exactly what that means.
“I think what I meant is, like, the settlements that are increasing in these areas, where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes,” she said.
“I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue,” she added with a laugh. “I am a firm believer in finding a two-state solution on this issue, and I’m happy to sit down with leaders on both of these — for me, I just look at things through a human rights lens, and I may not use the right words. I know this is a very intense issue.”
Ocasio-Cortez is a compass for the future of the Democratic party, but it has been clear for a long time that anything resembling sympathy for the Jewish State isn’t on the menu. This was 2012 when Democrats booed the inclusion of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (and God!) to the party’s platform:
As a young progressive protesting the Iraq War in 2008, I got a taste of what the modern Democratic party’s litmus tests are. I was a card-carrying Leftist, in part thanks to my high school, where school trips to Cuba (breaking the embargo) were carried out by a card-carrying Communist teacher, and discussed over the school’s loudspeakers along with the trips to France and Spain. It was common knowledge that Israelis were barbarians, committing massive human rights abuses and operating concentration camps.
Fast forward to my first year of college in a class called “The Politics of Protest” at City College of New York, taught by another extreme progressive. We wrote a massive paper at the end of the semester about a protest movement; my thesis was that the intifada was a valid protest movement. I began reading in depth about Israeli history and the history of the conflict, and thanks to Howard Sachar, I threw my back out in the process, lugging around his comprehensive book on the subject, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time.
It was over the course of that semester that I became disillusioned with not just the Left’s position on Israel, but the Left in general. Every protest I went to, about anything, always involved signs equating Zionism to Nazism. It made me consider the possibility that everything I believed was wrong; and for the most part, it was. At the end of that semester, I turned in a paper with the thesis that Zionism, not the intifada, was the venerable protest movement. To be honest, it was a total stretch; but at that late hour, after thousands of pages of reading, I needed to change my thesis to something related to the conflict and protest. I left with a deserved B- for the class (in my disillusionment, I had basically stopped attending, and I submitted a paper with a completely altered thesis without approval) and decided to steer clear of political activism in my coursework going forward.
This hatred of Israel has become so ingrained on the Left, many don’t even understand what exactly Israel has done wrong, what it has done right, or what has happened at all. And what has Israel done in an attempt to achieve peace?
This is why Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t have a ready answer to a basic question about the region. She has accepted the anti-Israel narrative on the Left as gospel and few on her side have even considered actually learning anything about the conflict; the “occupation” talking points are sufficient.